MaPaw Siberian Husky Rescue

Thursday, December 28, 2006

In Memory of Rita

MaPaw had to say goodbye to a true friend last weekend. Chena's mom, Rita, passed away after suffering a stroke.
Rita loved Siberian Huskies her whole life and adopted three rescue dogs. Before adopting Chena, Rita adopted two seniors who she loved for the rest of their lives. Though Chena was only five-years-old, she was so gentle and quiet, we thought she might be a good match. When we took Chena to meet Rita at her home, Rita shared stories of her beloved Penny, her previous rescued Sibe. Rita lived alone and loved having a fuzzy companion to listen to her talk and follow her from room to room. Chena sniffed around the house and explored the yard, then our skittish, little girl settled down in a beam of sunlight that hit the floor next to Rita's chair.

Chena came from an abusive owner in Alaska who planned to shoot her for not earning her keep as a sled dog. Chena was terrified of new situations and especially frightened of men. She had frequent accidents in her foster home related to her severe separation anxiety. While her foster dad focused on teaching her that he was a good person who would not hurt her, her foster mom tried to teach her to sit on command. While most dogs sit fairly reliably after two or three days of training, Chena took several months before she had a single success. She was just too nervous to focus.

Rita took a biscuit from one of the many cookie jars in her home and asked Chena to sit. Without hesitation Chena sat. Chena spent her days greeting the people who came by to help Rita with her daily activities and her nights sleeping in Rita's bed. Rita even called to say how much she enjoyed watching Chena chase birds and squirrels in the yard, since her previous dogs had been too old for such vigorous activity.

When Rita fell, she didn't go to the hospital right away because she didn't want to leave Chena, but after two days, she realized she had to go and called MaPaw for assistance. Of course we agreed to take care of Chena until she could return home, but sadly that will never happen. Although Chena had a home for only a few months, she became a less fearful dog in that time, transformed by the patient, unreserved love Rita gave her.

Rita did make arrangements for Chena in her will, and we are waiting to find out where Chena's tumultous life will lead. Please do not forget your animals in your will. If they ever need to face the grief and stress of losing a loved one, you want to know they will be in a loving home.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Dear Santa,
We have been very good puppies this year. We worked hard to be cute, fuzzy, and sweet all year long. All we really want for Christmas are homes with families who will love us forever, but we know that would be really hard to do, even for someone magical like you, so we made this list of things we could use at our foster homes in the meantime. You can send them all to MaPaw's address and they will make sure we get them. Buck is watching out the window for you. We love you, Santa. Thank you for listening.
The MaPaw Foster Dogs

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Boys

Rocky and Buck are both graduates of MaPaw who have had to return. They were adopted into the same home, but their dad fell on bad circumstances that made him unable to continue to care for the boys.Buck is the younger more mischievious brother. He has a lot to say. I mean a lot! He is very skilled at the innocent look, which he likes to give just after knocking down a gate or jumping on the coffee table.
Rocky is the more serious and responsible older brother. He puts a blanket on the coffee table before jumping up on it.

The boys are very close to each other, often cuddling together for naps. Their transition has been a little easier because they have each other. We know it will be a challenge, but we hope to get them adopted into the same home so that they do not lose each other after losing everything else.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Shyloh Found

Shyloh stayed with her foster family in MaPaw a long time before we found someone who was willing to work with a special needs dog. She was always friendly with other dogs, but she saw people as unpredictable and capable of inflicting pain. Finally, Shyloh found someone who had the patience and skills to help her overcome her fears and join the family. Shyloh was confused about leaving her foster home and living with a strange family. She loved her new canine pal but was still trying to understand the new surroundings and new routines. While she was trying to relax in the yard, a strange man entered her territory. Shyloh was terrified and wanted nothing more than to get away from the strange man. She saw that he had left an opening where she could escape from the fenced yard and she dashed for the only exit. Shyloh was gone.

Shyloh's new mom was horrified when she realized what had happened. Immediately she took the right steps for locating a lost dog. Her first step was to call MaPaw so we could get a group of volunteers working to find Shyloh. She followed up by contacting local shelters and the police department to report Shyloh missing. MaPaw volunteers jumped into action distributing flyers at neighbors' houses, veterinary offices and the dog park. Several people called out of work to drive to Shyloh's neighborhood and begin combing the woods. MaPaw would like to give a big thank you to Harnessed to Hope Northern Breed Rescue and Gimpy Dogs both of whom posted blogs calling for help in the search. As well, we'd like to thank the Phoenixville Police Department and the Harnessed to Hope volunteers who came out to join the search. On Friday there was one sighting near the dog park early in the morning and then not another word about her. We were all worried that Shyloh just kept running and we would never see her again. We were worried that she was lost in the woods during hunting season.

Saturday held more promise for Shyloh. More volunteers came out for the search. We believed she stayed in the area around the dog park because she so loves other dogs. Shyloh's mom, Karen, brought her black, mixed-breed dog, Duncan, who had been very playful with Shyloh. A couple other noisy dogs came along to attract Shyloh. Everyone had their cell phones ready to connect in case of a sighting, and there were sightings. Someone would see a flash of brown and white fur through the trees and everyone else would gather at the spot, but Shyloh would be long gone. Again a searcher would see the flick of a fluffy tail and call to the others, but Shyloh was too quick. For hours the search was fruitless except to tell us that Shyloh was still alive and well. She used the thick forest to remain hidden. As the morning passed, the MaPaw volunteers developed a plan about what to do if Shyloh couldn't be captured before dark. They decided on a placement for the Havahart Trap and a plan about how to continue the search on Sunday. Although they all had better ways to spend a Saturday, they just kept agreeing to do one more sweep and then one more sweep after that.

In one of those sweeps Karen spotted her Shyloh and decided to try to attract her using Duncan, her mixed breed brother who could be trusted off lead. Karen removed Duncan's lead and let him run to Shyloh. Shyloh was happy to see her brother. She playbowed and skipped around him. They wrestled in the woods while Karen crept toward them. Karen knew Shyloh would run if she got too close, so she called Duncan hoping that Shyloh would follow. It started to work, but Shyloh turned in the other direction once she got within a few feet. Karen kept trying to stay close to the playing dogs without getting so close she scared Shyloh. She, like all the volunteers, was dirty and exhausted. If the dogs would stay in one area, the other volunteers might have time to surround them. As the searchers hurried to get to Shyloh while she was distracted with play, Karen lay on the ground to avoid towering over the skittish dog. Slowly, she moved one arm toward the romping dogs. She kept her eyes straight up at the sky and used only her peripheral vision to aim. She tried to grab Shyloh but missed. She moved slowly back into position, grabbed, and missed. The volunteers were getting closer, but they were just as concerned about causing Shyloh to run before she was completely surrounded. Karen grabbed again. This time she caught some fur and held tight. In desperation, Karen used her whole body to trap Shyloh. It would startle the easily frightened dog, but it was Karen's best chance to catch her. Shyloh was captured.

Karen got the leash on Shyloh before trying to get off the ground. Other volunteers rushed in to help and to share in the joy and relief. Shyloh refused to walk on lead, and rather then risk her backing out of the collar, Karen just carried her out of the woods. A MaPaw volunteer saw Karen struggling to carry Shyloh, and took over for her so she could keep an eye on Duncan and begin to relax.Shyloh got a firm hug once she was out of the woods. She also got a firm talk about the dangers of escaping from both MaPaw people and Officer Gold. She was smelly, but otherwise no worse for the wear. We are so grateful that Shyloh is safe and sound and so thankful to everyone who helped relocate her.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Coming and Going

Well, we had a busy week at my house. The same day that Lucky was adopted Angel moved to a different foster home. We did not want to see her go until she found a forever home, but we had to make room. If another foster home could take Angel, the 35 pound, quiet female, we could take two young, talkative brothers who were coming to MaPaw together. So, Lucky and Angel left and Rocky and Buck arrived. Then it really got crazy. Remember the old friend, Chena, who Mama and Papa visited with a package from us? Her mama fell and hurt herself so Chena is staying with us for a while until her mama feels better. We really enjoy visiting with Chena but we do hope her mama gets better quickly. Chena likes to sleep with Bailey in his bed.
Rocky and Buck curl up together on their blanket. That leaves a whole bed for me and a whole bed for Ananya. I like to practice my pathetic looks and make Mama and Papa let me sleep in their bed. Apparently with all the puppies coming and going, Mama and Papa got confused because they brought a tree into the house. Rocky peed on it to let them know it belonged outside, but they did not understand. I have to do my best to help Mama and Papa, so I sing them beautiful songs and keep my spot on the couch warm and remind them frequently that we need lots of walks. Being a foster brother is tough work sometimes.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Afternoon Nap

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Good Luck

Lucky joined his new family this weekend! They have been waiting to adopt their first dog, but they researched a few breeds to make sure they were choosing the right one for them. They first saw Lucky on MaPaw's website and, despite the description of Lucky shaking a little dog, the son said he "had a feeling" that Lucky was the dog for him. He visited our blog again and again to read the stories and enjoy the pictures before he finally got a chance to meet Lucky. The whole family immediately loved our big cuddly boy. Lucky gave his friend Bailey some goodbye hugs and went off to his new family. He has been playing in his big, fenced yard and exploring his new surroundings. We will miss our silly, chubby Lucky, but he is so loved in his forever home.

Friday, December 01, 2006

puppies, puppies, puppies

If you enjoyed these puppies, check out our former puppies in the MaPaw 2007 calendar including some of the blogging dogs, Magnum, Kashmir, and Shadow!